Drunken Rambling II
Well, it was bound to happen...
30.1.2003 by The Angry Drunk

As our site grows it sometimes gets tough to keep up with the updates let alone write my own damned articles, but I had to say something about this...

Westwood is dead.

It's being widely reported that in a move of consolidation, Electronic Arts - the great squirming heap of mass-market gaming - has folded their EA Pacific division of Irvine, CA, and Westwood Studios (of Las Vegas) into an "integrated studio" (along with their existing studio there) based in Los Angeles and employing about 200 people.

...from Gameindustry.biz
Although almost the entire EA Pacific team will be moving to the new LA location, and of course the existing LA studio - responsible for the best-selling Medal of Honor franchise - will remain intact, the worst hit studio will be Westwood. It's not known how many of the 100 staff from that studio will be moved to Los Angeles, but significant layoffs are expected.

...well...CRAP!!!

Westwood single handedly created the modern real-time-strategy genre. Dune II - CLASSIC. The original Command and Conquer - CLASSIC. C&C Red Alert - CLASSIC. Despite the good efforts of our friends at Blizzard, Westwood crafted the finest and most well-balanced RTS titles ever.

Now I do have to give EA some due. They have struck gold from time to time with games like Alice (which was developed by American McGee - autonomus from any EA studio), Medal of Honor (phffft..), and such, but their sports franchises are TIRED and in many ways they are sinking to 989 Studios levels of mediocrity. It's only a matter of time before Visual Concepts finally exposes the Madden et. al. franchises for what they really are.

By the by...EA is now reporting "record financial performance in the third quarter of its financial year, outperforming analyst forecasts significantly and showing revenues of over $1.2 billion for the quarter." They sold over 22 million titles during the year and expect revenues of around $2.5 billion at year's end. You know how they did this? It's called margins on console games. Translated: THEY ARE SCREWING THE CONSOLE GAMER. They're keeping prices inflated on their games for the console market while being able to cut costs on the PC library. Look, their sports division sucks. Two Towers is at its best enemic. Need for Speed is iffy. If you own a console, DO NOT BUY YOUR GAMES FROM ELECTRONIC ARTS! There's a lot quality out there that's waiting to be unearthed.

...but I digress...

I'm going to miss Westwood. Westwood's history dated back to the days of the Commodore 64 (Hillsfar? Temple of Apshai Trilogy? Hello?) and even though the current C&C franchise was starting to show it's age, each game in the series showed a refinement and balance that most current RTS games don't even approach. I'm sure we'll see other bastard games carrying the Command and Conquer moniker, but they will never be the same again.

For those in the know...the Brotherhood of Nod has won.

Ok, I'm done. Back to my beer.

This is my old project, THROWDOWN.

A group of friends and I put together this little project in 2003 as an outlet of out collective rage and anger about the subjects that each of us cared about. I was the editor-and-chief and games writer back then.

It was a blast to do and it to be involved in a great collaborative effort using the strengths of my friends was simply amazing. I hope you have fun reading our work as much as we had in creating it.

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